Yow! Here’s an item that trips nearly all my triggers: robotics, biomimetics, aircraft design, 3-D printing, genetic algorithms… <SWOON> Throw in some cooperative swarming and alchemy and you’d pretty much have it all covered.
Here it is: Printing Insects. The idea here is to rapidly evolve flapping robot bugs with the assistance of 3-D printing. I first saw this in DIY Drones, which I’m enjoying more and more.
This work is coming out of Hod Lipson’s evolutionary robotics lab. Great stuff! Based on this video of a staggering starfish robot from Lipson’s lab in 2006, I wrote this a few years back.